RCAH in Costa Rica

Remote Program: Community Engaged Design in Costa Rica

A one-semester class working remotely with Costa Rican community partners



Costa Rica Mural

East Lansing 


Fall 2024 Semester Course: RCAH 325


Minimum Credits

RCAH 325 (3 credits)




Vincent Delgado
Residential College in the Arts and Humanities
Phone: 517-355-0210
Email: delgado1@msu.edu 


About the Program

One framework for sustainable development positions the concept as a balance between environmental protection, economic development, and social equity. Several others add in the idea that the more complicated a place, the more sustainable it is. While another adds that psychological empowerment in the community is a critical factor in building the community-based democratic processes required to engage in sustainable development. All these ideas – and more – taken together suggest that communities across Costa Rica, like many around the world, work in continuous tension over how to develop critical elements of sustainability and ensure residents can meet the challenges of globalization, climate change and others in positive, non-violent, and sustainable ways. 


Course Information 

Fall 2024 Course

RCAH 325: Topics in Community Engagement (3 credits)

Section 002 (Delgado V)
Design for the Common Good

How do we use design to respond to the impacts of conflict, globalization, and climate change on communities and the environment? In this fully remote course, students will learn community participatory design methodologies and co-generate solutions to community challenges using the arts, humanities, reflection, social responsibility, community voice, and transparency. We will review the latest ideas about participatory design, community autonomy, and biocultural heritage; engage with ideas and modalities in the arts and humanities, including storytelling, histories, ethics, and visual arts; and develop the critical engagement skills necessary to collaborate with Centro Cultural Riochante and Monteverde youth on a project that combines public art and cloud forest design and management in a small cloud forest reserve next to this important community center.